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Undersea Science Fiction

What is Undersea Science Fiction?

Space offers infinite possibilities for our imaginations, but so too does the ocean. A self-describing sub-genre, Undersea Science Fiction takes place under the sea.

Undersea Sci Fi frequently explores life in the watery depths of the ocean. Life forms that are found at these depths may be naturally occurring, they may be created by humans, or they may be alien. The other aspect of life beneath the waves is that of habitats--habitats that house entire cities, or maybe just a mining operation.

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Other Features of Undersea Science Fiction

  • Level of Real Science

    High. In many Undersea Sci Fi stories science is central to the setting. Science is employed to describe the biology of deep-sea creatures, science is employed to create habits for humans, science is employed to create the technology for underwater transportation.

  • Level of Grand Ideas/Social Implications

    Variable. Many Undersea Sci Fi stories are adventure stories and so they do not spend much time on ideas and social commentary. However, there are some authors who use the alien-like setting to explore not only social ideas, but psychological ideas.

  • Level of Characterization

    Variable. If the Undersea Sci Fi story follows in the Pulp tradition the characterization will be low, having mostly stock characters. However, there are also more complex stories that take place under the sea and often explore the psychology of its characters in an alien environment and under unusual and extreme circumstances.

  • Level of Plot Complexity

    High. Adventure stories are plot driven and the undersea adventures found in this sub-genre are no exception.

  • Level of Violence

    Moderate. Undersea Sci Fi stories are adventure stories and there will be some high action scenes that can turn violent. This violence may be among the crew of a troubled submarine or it may be fighting off a giant squid.

Related Science Fiction subgenres




    Hard Science Fiction. Undersea exploration is a real scientific inquiry and so there is much for Sci Fi to build on in this sub-genre.

  • Pulp Science Fiction. Many of the Pulp stories featured undersea stories, but on alien planets.

  • Voyages Extraordinares. This subgenre might include some sort of underwater setting (think 20k leagues under the sea).

Undersea Science Fiction isn't for you if...

If you get sea sick.

Popular Under Sea Science Fiction Books